Noth­ing’s bro­ken with this year’s play­off, so deal with it

The Bradenton Herald - - Sports - BY TOM JONES

Want to know what’s wrong with the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off se­lec­tions?


Not. One. Thing.

So what do we need to do to fix the process? Same an­swer: not one thing.

The com­mit­tee got it right. They al­ways do.

So why is there all this belly­ach­ing and whin­ing? Prob­a­bly be­cause all that com­plain­ing is com­ing from fans of teams that didn’t get into the four-team play­off. And I don’t want to hear it. Those schools only have them­selves to blame.

Ohio State? Hit the bricks. You can’t get an­ni­hi­lated by a medi­ocre Pur­due team, then act like you got a raw deal.

Ge­or­gia? I don’t want to hear about how Ge­or­gia isn’t get­ting a chance. The Bull­dogs just had their chance. Last Satur­day in the SEC Cham­pi­onship Game. And they blew it. The coughed up a two-touch­down lead in the sec­ond half to a team that lost its Heis­man Tro­phy-wor­thy quar­ter­back.

Plus, how fair is it to put Ge­or­gia in the fourth spot and let them play Alabama again? If that hap­pened, ‘Bama would be like, “Wait, we just beat Ge­or­gia and now we have to play them again? And now this is the game that mat­ters? What was the point of the last game?” They would ab­so­lutely have an ar­gu­ment.

Be­sides, Ge­or­gia lost twice and didn’t win its con­fer­ence. So it has no case.


UCF? Sorry. Your sched­ule is lousy. Your con­fer­ence is em­bar­rass­ingly soft. Your re­sume is unim­pres­sive. The Knights have won 25 games in a row. They could win 125 in a row and they still will never get a crack un­der the cur­rent sce­nario and they shouldn’t. Get into a real con­fer­ence, UCF, then we will talk.

In the end, you couldn’t re­ally ar­gue with the com­mit­tee’s fi­nal four se­lec­tions. Alabama and Clem­son were un­de­feated ma­jor con­fer­ence cham­pi­ons. Notre Dame, play­ing a good sched­ule, went un­de­feated. And

then, fi­nally, Ok­la­homa was a one-loss ma­jor con­fer­ence champ whose one loss came against a re­ally good Texas team that it turned around and beat for the Big 12 ti­tle.

The four teams in are the four most de­serv­ing.

Still, the com­plaints will con­tinue to mount until the squeaky wheels even­tu­ally get their grease by forc­ing col­lege foot­ball to start ad­ding teams to the play­offs.

For the record, I’m dead set against ad­ding teams to the play­offs. Four is plenty. The fewer the teams, the more mean­ing­ful the reg­u­lar sea­son is. I’m one of the rare birds who ac­tu­ally liked the old BCS pick­ing just two teams to play in the na­tional ti­tle game.

In the five years of the cur­rent for­mat, we still haven’t had a ma­jor con­fer­ence champ go un­de­feated and get left out. That means that ev­ery team out there, at some point, did some­thing to cost it­self a chance to get into the play­off. In other words, don’t lose a game and/or don’t get stuck in a crummy con­fer­ence.

Even­tu­ally, how­ever, there will be enough of an out­cry and there will be too much money to make that col­lege foot­ball will give in and start ad­ding teams.

Al­ready, there’s an ugly look about this.

UCF fans are em­bar­rass­ing them­selves by mak­ing up fake na­tional champ posters in be­tween us­ing Twit­ter to lose their minds and man­ners by yelling at any­one who dares to point out that UCF’s strength of sched­ule is a joke.

Mean­time, Ge­or­gia coach Kirby Smart is show­ing up on ESPN like he’s run­ning for dog catcher and Big Ten Com­mis­sioner Jim De­laney is get­ting crushed by Ohio State fans for not stomp­ing his feet and hold­ing his breath over the Big Ten be­ing shutout of the fi­nal four again.


Be­cause the cry­ing is not go­ing to go away, col­lege foot­ball will add teams. Here’s one pro­posal if (when) it hap­pens:

Ex­pand to six teams. Each of the five ma­jor con­fer­ences sends one rep­re­sen­ta­tive cho­sen how­ever the con­fer­ence wants to choose them. It can be a con­fer­ence reg­u­lar-sea­son champ. It can be the con­fer­ence ti­tle game win­ner. It can be the high­est-ranked team. What­ever. How­ever the con­fer­ence wants to pick its play­off team.

Then have a com­mit­tee pick the sixth at-large team from the in­de­pen­dents or smaller con­fer­ences.

The top two teams, as picked by the com­mit­tee, get a first-round bye.

Will that sat­isfy ev­ery­one? No, there will be al­ways be com­plaints, whether the play­off stays at four teams or goes to six, eight or even 16. The NCAA men’s bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment has 68 and you still have con­tro­ver­sies over who got snubbed.

We can ar­gue about how many teams should be in the foot­ball play­offs. But what we should not ar­gue about is this sea­son’s play­offs.

The com­mit­tee got it right.


UCF has won 25 games in a row, but the Knights re­main on the out­side look­ing in at the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off.

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